The three coverages (drawers) discussed here- Liability (Bodily Injury), Property Damage and Medical Expense – must be part of every auto policy in Pennsylvania. You do not have to ask for them; they have to be in the policy. You, however, must decide on the amount of each coverage.
This coverage protects you from claims made against you by someone you injure in an car accident that is your fault. Without this coverage, you would be responsible to pay damages to those injured in the accident. Insurance companies must make coverages available in the following range: $15,000/30,000 to $100,000/300,000. The first number represents the limit any one person can collect for an accident and the second number is the total amount the insurance company will pay for an accident in which more than one person is injured. An insurance company may offer higher limits but there is no requirement that it do so. We recommend liability (bodily injury) coverage of $100,000/300,000 or higher.
This coverage protects you against claims made against you by someone whose property you damage in an accident that is your fault. Insurance companies must make this coverage available for at least $5,000. There is no range of coverage listed in the law but most companies offer a variety of coverages up to $50,000.
This coverage pays for the medical bills of you and your family regardless of who was at fault in the accident. The range of coverages that insurance companies must offer is from $5,000 to $100,000. These medical expenses include hospitalization, surgical, chiropractic, ambulance, physical therapy, psychiatric, psychological, medications, medical supplies, prosthetic devices, audiology, speech pathology, osteopathic, dental, occupational therapy, optometric services and nursing services. These bills should be paid by your insurance company within thirty (30) days after it receives reasonable proof (bill and supporting report) that the medical expense was required for necessary treatment.
If you have adequate health insurance through your work that also covers your family, you may want to save some money and get the lowest Medical Expense coverage. If you select the lowest Medical Expense option, your first $5,000 in medical bills is paid for by your auto insurance. After this initial $5,000 is used up, you then send your medical bills to your health insurance company (Blue Cross/Blue Shield; HMO; etc.)
Another reason to select low Medical Expense coverage is that some doctors do not want to treat patients covered by auto insurance. Under the new auto law, doctors are limited to collecting only 110% of the Medicare/Medicaid schedules for bills and the doctor’s bill is subject to a review where their bill could be rejected.
Our firm, Galfand Berger, is made up of Philadelphia personal injury lawyers who are dedicated to the principle of helping injured people get fair and just compensation for their injuries. For over fifty years we have represented injured people throughout Pennsylvania and helped to protect their rights. If you or your friends or relatives have questions regarding an auto accident injury, give us a call at 1-800-222-USWA (8792) and we will be glad to help you.